Zendaya made history at the Emmys. The 24-year-old actress became the youngest ever in the history of the awards ceremony to take home one of the night's top prizes; Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Zendaya beat out the competition in one of this year's biggest surprises for her work in HBO's Euphoria.
The 72nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards proceeded with a virtual edition this year, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting. Zendaya was competing against Jennifer Aniston (The Morning Show), Olivia Colman (The Crown), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Laura Linney (Ozark) and Sandra Oh (Killing Eve) in the category. In her acceptance speech, Zendaya had this to say.
"To the incredible cast and crew of Euphoria, I'm so lucky to go to work with you every day and I'm inspired by everything you do. And to Sam Levinson, I appreciate you so much and you're my family, I'm so grateful for Rue, I'm so grateful that you trusted me with your story, and I hope I can continue to do you proud. I know that this feels like a really weird time to be celebrating, but I just want to say that there is hope in the young people out there. I know that our TV show doesn't always feel like a great example of that, but there is hope in the young people, and I just want to say to all my peers out there doing the work in the streets: I see you, I admire you, I thank you."
Euphoria debuted on HBO in June 2019. The series was met with widespread acclaim, though not without controversy over its graphic content. The series follows a group of high school students as they navigate love and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma and social media. Speaking of social media, Zendaya also posted an Instagram Story after the win, saying the following.
"Still on could nine. So grateful, still speechless, to all my friends and family who have texted/tweeted/called etc. I promise I will get back to you tomorrow when I've wrapped my head around this amazing night. Until then...gonna go to sleep and make sure this isn't a dream."
This should help build a lot of additional buzz for Euphoria season 2. Like many shows, its production has been affected by 2020 and the near-total shutdown in Hollywood, which means we most likely won't see it until sometime in 2021. Zendaya previously revealed that they are planning a "bridge" episode that will be released ahead of season 2 to help fill the void. Hunter Schafer, Jacob Elordi, Algee Smith and Sydney Sweeney also star.
The youngest actress overall to win an Emmy for her work was Roxana Zal. In 1984, when she was just 14, she won for her supporting role in the TV movie Something About Amelia. But Zendaya became the youngest to win in the lead actress category. You can check out her full acceptance speech from the Television Academy YouTube channel.